Rumours had circulated of a white giraffe and her baby in the local area of the Ishaqbini conservation, in Garissa County, Kenya, but rangers working for the Hirola Conservation Program finally got to see the real thing after a tip-off in June, this year.
— Mount Kenya Trust (@mountkenyatrust) September 14, 2017
The group of giraffes appeared calm as the Rangers got closer and seemed undeterred by their presence.
“We spent almost 20 minutes with the beautiful animals and had the pleasure of getting close-up photos and video of the duo,” Hirola Conservation Program founder Abdullahi H. Ali told the New York Times. “To our surprise, one normal colour reticulated giraffe also was among the mother and calf. You can actually compare the difference.”
The giraffes’ white colour is caused by a genetic condition called leucism that affects their cells’ pigmentation, the Program said. Squirrels, elephants, buffalo and bears have all been pictured with the disfiguration as well. The condition is different from albinism and leucism animals are not pure white and still display patterns. Also, unlike albinism, “It is caused by a reduction in multiple types of pigment, not just melanin,” according to an entry in Wikipedia.